Friday, March 04, 2016

Multiple evolutions for an awful season

It should be a happy day when someone you don't like does something good.

I've never been a fan of Jim Wallis. Years back I heard this "liberal" Christian activist equivocate about recognizing the full humanity of gay people and I've never quite got over it. I think it is fair to say he has been slow to "evolve" when it comes to me and mine.

But today he is putting out a response to this wretched political season that might serve as a standard that I hope other religious leaders could "evolve" toward:

It’s time to put the moral crisis over the political one. Donald Trump’s potential nomination by the Republican Party is not just a crisis for that party and for election politics in general, it is a moral crisis for the country, for democracy itself, and for the state of faith in the nation.

The media can act shocked about Trump failing to quickly and very clearly denounce David Duke and the KKK and their support for him, but they didn’t seriously ask the more important question: Why do the advocates of white supremacy like and advocate for Donald Trump?

Here’s why: When a person fears death to his way of life on the horizon, he fights like hell to cling onto it. And that’s what is happening now.

If what you, as a white person, are most worried about is how the demographics of your country are changing to make it more diverse, what you really need is a strong white man who will block, obstruct, deny, or delay that demographic from changing the country further. And that’s what Donald Trump promises to be for them — an authoritarian in his leadership style with the message of a bigot. ...

This is no equivocating attempt to rescue the Republican party from itself -- I'm talking about you, Mitt Romney. Wallis has called out the moral content of the moment.

Amid Wallis' denunciation, I noticed a citation to an August poll which found that only 2 percent of Trump supporters were under 30. The Donald may have picked up a few more young people since, but that is telling. If we can manage not to completely blow it during the next decade, there should be real hope for the country to evolve away from white supremacy and our brutal systemic economic inequity.

Graphic stolen from Kevin Drum.

4 comments:

Susan Leone Starr said...

And here is where we part company: "If we can manage not to completely blow it during the next decade, there should be real hope for the country to evolve away from white supremacy and our brutal systemic economic inequity." There is zero chance of that happening, in my estimation, and while God is full of surprises, slave ships sailed and ovens burned human beings alive. The country cannot evolve because white supremacy will not allow it and is fighting to the death. we have the numbers, they have the military power, and if we can bring white supremacy down at all it will be on top of our own heads. i would never say USAmericans deserve what is coming for most and already here for many, but I will claim that it is the addicted materialism of USAmericans that stops them from aiding and abetting the revolution.

Brandon said...

Years back I heard this "liberal" Christian activist equivocate about recognizing the full humanity of gay people and I've never quite got over it.

Could you provide more details? Was this about same-sex marriage?

janinsanfran said...

Susan: I thought hard about where you come from while running in the rain this morning. Assuming that white supremacy can only end in fire and destruction strikes me as being in the same vein as believing the contradictions of capitalism (cancerous material expropriation) can only end in systemic collapse. Both observations make intuitive sense. But so far human history has not worked out that way, for all its horror. We and the planet keep diverting our own appropriate and well-deserved demise. We may yet continue to do so. Odd, but true. Hence the title of this blog cuts both ways and always has.

Brandon: I remember a public meeting around 1985 in the Newman Center at Berkeley where Wallis was asked about homosexuality and hemmed and hawed and equivocated. Not pretty. He seems to have had a hard time working his way around to some kind of truce within himself about us. The work of Sojourners has sometimes been of service to reconciliation between our various warring tribes -- but some tribes do continue to project that we're not quite welcome. I could be wrong.

Hattie said...

What is happening to people of color now is appalling. A commentator said, and I forget who it was, that white people are tired of black people and don't want to hear about them any more.
Shocking.
I'm listening more and more to the young, excluded African Americans and less to the elite types, who feel they have struck a reasonable bargain with liberal America. I'm not so sure they have after all.

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